MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. -- Various units with Marine Corps Air Station Miramar and 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing held “101 Critical Days of Summer,” an annual event addressing summer safety, at MCAS Miramar, Calif., May 22.
"101 Critical Days of Summer,” a safety campaign throughout the Department of Defense, is the title given to the time period between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend, which tends to have a higher rate of incidents than the rest of the year.
“This period is more dangerous due to increased participation in outdoor activities and increased likelihood of mishaps,” said Maj. Gen. Mark R. Wise, commanding general of 3rd MAW. “By raising awareness, instilling and reinforcing sound risk management practices, we can minimize injuries and lost work days that negatively impact 3rd MAW.”
During the event, all of the units divided into four groups and attended four stations led by unit leaders for approximately one hour before transitioning to the next station. Each station reinforced a particular theme regarding summer safety.
At one station, unit leaders gave classes about driving safety, preventing athletic and heat injuries and practicing risk management.
“This is all about the risks you take in life. Some of you make high-risk decisions everyday, sometimes life-threatening,” said Lt. Col. Michael A. Spears, commanding officer of Headquarters and Headquarters Squadron (H&HS) at MCAS Miramar. “Have self-awareness, know your personal capabilities and know the risks.”
Another station held a vendor fair, which featured a series of tents showing Marines many of the available resources for service members and their families, such as the United Service Organization (USO), Semper Ride, and Marine Corps motorcycle safety organization, and Marine Corps Community Services (MCCS) Miramar.
A health and safety fair was another station, which was a series of activities provided by MCCS Miramar’s Semper Fit Programs – it included a rock wall, tug-of-war, an obstacle course, pugil stick matches and several athletic games.
The final station was sponsored by behavioral health, which had booths for promoting sexual health, alcohol abuse awareness, suicide prevention and featured a guest speaker who shared a personal story to discuss the repercussions of alcohol abuse and how to seek help for suicidal ideations.
“We are trying to incorporate fun and education so it’s more likely to stick with them,” said Julie Burks, a Semper Fit dietitian who organized the Semper Fit station. “The health and safety fair is here to inform Marines of how to be healthy and aware of all dangers to their health.”
MCCS Miramar also had tents promoting general health awareness as well as programs and services such as tobacco cessation, family readiness and the Navy Marine Corps Relief Society.
“We have had a lot of loss and need to give this information to mitigate any incidents like driving under the influence, motorcycle accidents and suicide,” said Stacey Willis, a prevention analyst with 3rd MAW. “This event is extremely important for the Marines. Gaining information in this way really works.”